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Linux Mint 20 hits Beta with Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce desktops

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The Linux Mint team have announced the big push towards release with a Beta version of Linux Mint 20 available now across three different desktop environments.

Being based on the latest Ubuntu release, this makes Linux Mint 20 a long-term support release so they plan to keep it in tip-top shape until 2025. As expected of a big new release, there's plenty new and improved. Including the somewhat controversial decision to block Snap packages and snapd being installed unless you do it manually.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Better NVIDIA Optimus support including NVIDIA "On-Demand".
  • XAppStatusIcon, their way of keeping more classic tray icons alive gained support for scroll-wheel input.
  • Cinnamon 4.6:
    • Nemo file manager performance improvements.
    • Display Settings has an option to set the refresh rate.
    • Fractional scaling support, and each monitor can be scaled differently.
  • Gdebi, for manually installing .deb files got a new interface.
  • Linux-firmware 1.187 and the Linux kernel 5.4.

Release notes for each version:

For our readers who are Linux Mint fans, what are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.

I used to be a big fan of the Cinnamon desktop environment. It does a pretty great job at giving a classic interface with a few bells and whistles to also bring it up to a somewhat modern standard at the same time.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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14 comments
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omicron-b 16 Jun
QuoteFractional scaling support, and each monitor can be scaled differently.
Wow, am I right that no other DE has this?
QuoteIncluding the somewhat controversial decision to block Snap packages and snapd being installed unless you do it manually.

I love that the Mint team did this. If I want to install Snap, I will do so, and I don't have any major objections to it, but I don't like it when something installs itself silently like that in a 'sneaky' way. It should be something I am aware of and choose to install rather than something just getting quietly slipped onto my HDD in an apt package.

Probably thing things I'm most excited about are the nemo performance improvements and the new options for monitor configuration and desktop scaling.
Nanobang 16 Jun
Although not currently a Linux Mint user, I am a HUGE fan of their decision to exorcise the 'Snap' daemon from their distro. It's not the 'Snap' format itself (though I'm decidedly not a fan) but the way that Canonical has chosen to foist it upon the user. (It puts me in mind of Microsoft's Internet Explorer circa 2000.)

So skål! to Clément Lefèbvre and his crew, their distro and their truth, long may they live!
DMG 16 Jun
If only Feral would not completely ignore this Linux version
I wonder when is the release date of the final version.
slaapliedje 16 Jun
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Quoting: omicron-b
QuoteFractional scaling support, and each monitor can be scaled differently.
Wow, am I right that no other DE has this?
I thought Gnome-shell was supposed to get at least the first bit. But I haven't seen it in the options on Pop_OS.

I do wish Mint would support Gnome though I kind of see why they do not. But yes, maybe if all of the Ubuntu based systems refuse to play ball with forcing snap down our throats, Ubuntu will come to realize that much like other things they've tried to push an alternate system for, that they'll just back down.

While I'm not against alternatives at all (otherwise why would I be using Linux as a desktop system, right?), there are certain things we should try standardizing on, like the graphical display tech (xorg / wayland), system resource management and startup (though to be fair, it systemd started with just being an improved init, it really is growing into much more, and I can see reasons to hate it for that, but it has become the 'standard'). We already have flatpak that isn't terrible in performance like snap, is already well integrated into other distributions (though Debian is as they always are neutral and properly support both flatpak and snap, just not out of the box, which is the way it should be).

This does give us two good options now though, Pop_OS! for those who enjoy using Gnome Shell, plus they have an easy way to switch between hybrid, dedicated and iGPU settings, and Mint for the Xfce, Cinnamon and Mate DEs, without having things shoved into our faces!
Nice thing they blocked it. As an Ubuntu MATE user I might consider moving to Mint MATE. Gonna give it a shot
omicron-b 16 Jun
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: omicron-b
QuoteFractional scaling support, and each monitor can be scaled differently.
Wow, am I right that no other DE has this?
I thought Gnome-shell was supposed to get at least the first bit. But I haven't seen it in the options on Pop_OS.

I do wish Mint would support Gnome though I kind of see why they do not. But yes, maybe if all of the Ubuntu based systems refuse to play ball with forcing snap down our throats, Ubuntu will come to realize that much like other things they've tried to push an alternate system for, that they'll just back down.

While I'm not against alternatives at all (otherwise why would I be using Linux as a desktop system, right?), there are certain things we should try standardizing on, like the graphical display tech (xorg / wayland), system resource management and startup (though to be fair, it systemd started with just being an improved init, it really is growing into much more, and I can see reasons to hate it for that, but it has become the 'standard'). We already have flatpak that isn't terrible in performance like snap, is already well integrated into other distributions (though Debian is as they always are neutral and properly support both flatpak and snap, just not out of the box, which is the way it should be).

This does give us two good options now though, Pop_OS! for those who enjoy using Gnome Shell, plus they have an easy way to switch between hybrid, dedicated and iGPU settings, and Mint for the Xfce, Cinnamon and Mate DEs, without having things shoved into our faces!

Ubuntu has fractional scaling (although it was borked for me when I tested 20.04, 19.10 was fine), I don't actually have 2 screens to check.

Yes, I am glad Mint voiced their concern with snaps (again), and this time Canonical heard it and proposed to talk.
Before they just wrote it off as 'vocal minority', 'tinfoil hats', 'windows haters', something among these lines.
As a long time Mint user, I dunno what I'm looking forward to. I'm sure there will be some nice things, but I'm already fine with my current version. I'll just be kind of vaguely glad that various things are a bit more up to date, but the Mint desktop is mature enough that for me it's not really about specific pain points. Heck, I only just updated to 19.3, and the only difference I've really paid attention to so far is I notice LibreOffice is looking a bit slicker.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 16 June 2020 at 8:55 pm UTC
AwesamLinux 16 Jun
I feel that the Linux Mint team has a good understanding about what their user-base wants, this is shaping up to be another great release :)

- Nemo I already think is a great file manager, but load up a folder with 10k+ PNG images and it grinds to a halt trying to create thumbnails for all of them (not that any other Linux file-manager is any better at it, but if they solve this then that would be great)
- I have never had issues with Flatpaks in any distro, I can't say the same about snaps . From my point of view Snaps are trying to solve a problem that already has a solution.
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